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Ecology

A view of the river at New River State Park
Wagoner Access Campground Closed Until June 1st   

Wagoner Access Campground is closed due to renovations. Wagoner Access will be open daily for hiking & river access. The gate will be open from 8am to sunset daily. All other New River State Park campgrounds & facilities are open.

 Posted on: Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 11:53am
Firewood Alert   

Please don’t bring firewood with you to the park.  If you find or buy wood from the park, please don’t take any back home with you. Burn it all or leave it for other campers. Foreign pests can travel with wood, and carrying firewood from one area to another can be detrimental to the local forest. We have firewood to purchase, or you can collect wood/ kindling from dead and down trees.

Because of the seriousness of a potential infestation from the Emerald Ash Borer, we are requesting that no firewood be brought into New River State Park.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a destructive invasive exotic beetle that feeds on ash trees. Park campgrounds and picnic areas are the most likely areas for EAB introduction into the park. We appreciate your help in protecting the natural resources of New River State Park and our State Park System.

 Posted on: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 3:53pm
Ecology

Get plant and animal checklists at the park office.

Dense forests once blanketed the land in the New River valley, but most of the virgin forest was cut or cleared and the woodlands now consist of second- or third-growth trees. Nevertheless, an abundance of forest cover grows primarily on ridges and on the steep slopes of the valley wall.

The soil is fertile and much of it is moist, supporting many species of hardwoods, pines, shrubs and wildflowers. More than half of the forest cover is an oak/hickory hardwood community. Oaks, hickories, maples and pines grow where the soil is relatively shallow and dry. The moist soil along the river's tributary streams supports a more diverse flora including American beech, black gum, yellow poplar, black locust and yellow birch. Hemlocks and pines grow at higher elevations. The understory includes dogwood, sourwood, sassafras, huckleberries, alders and hydrangeas. Mountain laurel and rhododendron grow on north-facing slopes and add color to the woodlands in winter and beautiful flowers in the spring.

At least 14 species of rare, threatened or endangered plants grow in the valley. They include rattlesnake root, Carolina saxifrage, Carey's saxifrage, spreading avens and purple sedge. Please help preserve our diverse natural heritage by leaving these valuable species in their natural habitats for all to enjoy.

Diverse animal species make their homes in the New River Valley. White-tailed deer are common and black bears are seen occasionally. Mink, muskrat, river otter and raccoon may be encountered along the river. Beaver have been reintroduced to the area.

Bird life is abundant and varied, and the valley is home to several nesting birds uncommon in other parts of the state. A population of wild turkeys is present in lowland forests and ruffed grouse may be seen at higher elevations. Sightings of ospreys along the river have increased in recent years. Red-tailed hawks nest on cliffs above the river. Scarlet tanagers, American goldfinches and indigo buntings provide brilliant flashes of color, and serious bird watchers look for uncommon species including black-billed cuckoo, willow and least flycatchers, warbling vireo, golden-winged warbler, and northern oriole. Spotted sandpipers, belted kingfishers and wood ducks are also encountered along the waterways.

Wet summer evenings bring choruses of frogs, common in the wetlands adjacent to the river and its streams. Salamanders thrive in shallow, rocky tributaries while nonvenomous water snakes can be seen along the river's edge. A variety of lizards and turtles occupy the region.

Contact:

New River State Park

358 New River State Park Road
Laurel SpringsNC 28644
Phone336-982-2587
new.river@ncparks.gov
Latitude: 36.467680
Longitude: -81.340350

Park Hours:

Wagoner Access & US 221 Access
December - February: 7am - 7pm
March, April, October: 7am - 9pm
May - September: 7am - 10pm
November: 7am - 8pm
Closed Christmas Day

Visitor Center & Office
8am - 5pm week days
10am - 4pm weekends
Closed Christmas Day

Kings Creek Access 
Closed November 1st thru March 31st. Re-opens April 1st.
Hours of operation are: 
April, October: 8am - 8pm
May - September: 8am - 9pm